Rugby Australia has announced it will shed 47 jobs from its 142-strong workforce for a saving of $5.5 million to find a way out of its current financial crisis. Rugby Australia will shed one-third of its workforce as well as cut salaries as it looks to save $5.5 million in phase one of a brutal wholesale restructure announced on Monday. After lodging their 2019 financial report that provisionally flagged a $9.4-million loss, RA interim chief executive Rob Clarke announced the massive job cuts in an attempt to reshape the cash-strapped code.

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Over 75 per cent of RA’s workforce has been stood down or on significantly reduced hours since April 1 and many won’t return at all with Clarke announcing they would shed 47 of the 142 full-time staff over the coming months.

A further 30 contractors and casual workers have also had their roles terminated with immediate effect.

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The full program of cuts will reduce the company’s current wages bill by $5.5 million.

In addition, RA is seeking to implement a five per cent reduction in base salary for all senior retained staff to take effect from their return date.

“Today was an incredibly difficult day for the organisation with many people affected by changes that are necessary to ensure the viability and sustainability of the organisation as a result of the devastating impacts of the pandemic,” Clarke said in a statement.

“We have delivered the news to staff this morning and told them that Rugby Australia values the contribution of each and every one of them, some of whom have given significant service to Rugby Australia and to the game over many years.

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“This is a difficult time for a lot of very passionate, hard-working Rugby people and we are committed to helping those people find their next opportunity, whether it be within the game or elsewhere.”

Clarke said phase two of the restructure was under way and was examining the role of RA and the State and Territory Member Unions in delivering rugby across the country.

“The next phase is to find further opportunities for savings and efficiencies in the way we deliver our rugby programs and administrative operations across each of our businesses,” Clarke said.

RA announced on Monday the Japan-based Sunwolves won’t take part in a five-team domestic competition that will start next month and will meet with Fox Sports this week to hammer out a reworked broadcast deal for the modified competition in 2020.

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Negotiations for beyond this year are stalled with SANZAAR uncertain of an ongoing format due to the coronavirus pandemic which stopped competition in March.

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